Thursday, August 1, 2013

Apple promotes upcoming tax holidays in several states - is yours on the list?

Apple promoting upcoming tax holidays in several states

Apple is promoting a group of upcoming tax holidays in ten U.S. States, asking potential customers to buy Apple products during the holiday if they live in one of these states. The tax holidays allows residents of these states to buy certain items without being charged sales tax. Apple is promoting tax holidays in the following states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Customers can take advantage of the holiday through Apple's Online store, according to Apple:

When you buy from the Apple Online Store, sales tax will appear in your cart and during the checkout process. The correct no-tax amount will appear when you receive your email order confirmation.

Each state has different qualifications for what products are tax exempt during these holidays. Louisiana, for instance, has no limit on the items you can purchase as long as each purchase is $2500 or less. Other states are more restrictive, limiting things like the kind of accessories you can buy without tax. Apple has links to each state's restrictions on their promotion page.

Source: Apple



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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Court: Cooley Law grads can't sue over tuition, jobs

Court: Cooley Law grads can't sue over tuition, jobs

Today's lesson: Are graduates of the largest Michigan law school entitled to a tuition refund if they don't find satisfactory jobs? Not according to a federal appeals court.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

RPI: Japan Must Face Up To China

Japan Must Face Up To China

Ron Paul Institute
July 28, 2013

World War II has never really ended for Japan. Sixty-eight years after the battleship US ?Missouri? sailed into Tokyo Bay to receive the surrender of the Japanese Empire, Japan still behaves like a meek, defeated nation rather than one of the world?s great powers ? and great peoples.

Economically, Japan is a giant, albeit a staggering one. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe?s Liberal Democratic Party just secured full control of both houses of Japan?s parliament. Abe?s ?three-arrow? reform program has injected new life in Japan?s formerly stagnant $5 trillion economy industry and driven down the over-valued yen.

But military, Japan remains a midget. Its so-called Self-Defense Forces were designed to stop a Soviet amphibious invasion of the northern islands. Japan?s US-written pacifist constitution prohibits all offensive military operations or exports of arms and military equipment.

The 1960 US-Japan Security Treaty laid the foundation of relations between Washington and Tokyo. The US in effect pledged to defend Japan against all comers; amusingly, Japan pledged to help defend the US ? but banned from sending military forces abroad. The key to the treaty was the establishment of permanent US air, land, and sea bases in Japan. They remain, half a century later.

Japan thus became a giant US aircraft carrier from which it dominates highly strategic North Asia. In exchange, Japanese industry was given open access to the US market, thus laying the base of Japan?s economic upsurge of the 1960?s. South Korea enjoyed a similar deal.

This cozy arrangement is now being challenged by the rapid rise of China?s military and economic power. Just this week, a Chinese military aircraft that overflew waters near Japan?s Okinawa, provoked an uproar in Japan.

Over the past year, Chinese aircraft, warships and submarines have challenged Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands, ruled by Japan since the late 19th century, but now claimed by China. Even more worrying, China has begun asserting claims to Okinawa on the basis that its independent rulers paid tribute to Imperial China in the past.

These claims, and China?s rapid development of a true blue water navy and long-ranged aircraft that can project power into the Pacific, and Beijing?s increasingly assertive claims to all the East China Sea, are deeply alarming Japan.

As the nationalist drums beat ever louder in China, Japanese increasingly feel vulnerable. Japanese are asking whether the US would really risk nuclear war with China to defend Japan?s Senkaku or Ryukyu Islands.

China, for its part, sees its rising naval and maritime power constricted, even threatened, by the Japanese archipelago that acts as a giant barrier, blocking China from the open Pacific.

The Soviet Union faced a similar problem accessing the North Pacific.

For China?s fleets and oil tankers, getting to the Pacific means running the barrier of Japan?s home islands, the Senkaku and Ryukyus (Okinawa), or going through the Philippine?s narrow Luzon Strait. To no surprise, the US is negotiating with Manila to reopen the Subic Bay naval and air base that the US vacated in 1992.

China is clearly trying to muscle its way out of the East China Sea and into the Pacific. But, on a grander strategic scale, China is trying to demean and punish Japan for World War II by making it lose face over the naval and air challenges, and showing Asia who is now the big dog on the block.

Japan is perfectly aware of this grave challenge but undecided on how to respond to the biggest threat it has faced since World War II. The choices seem to be: hope the US will block China?s expansion; or abandon the US-imposed strictures from the post-war period, develop a real foreign policy, and create credible military forces ? including nuclear arms.

Doing so means casting off Japan?s eternal bowed head, apologetic attitudes and obedience to its former WWII enemies. That would be a vast sea change in Japan, where most people appear happy to accept the status quo ? or at least until another big military scare from China.

The naming of Caroline Kennedy, a major Obama supporter and donor, as ambassador to Japan is hardly the right person in these troubled times.

Japan has to cast off its cross of shame over having been defeated in the 1940?s and renew its national spirit.



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Alumni cast to perform Ayckbourn's 'Living Together' - Auburn Reporter

The Paul Fouhy-directed Auburn Mountainview Summer Alumni Theater Company is at it again, this time with Alan Ayckbourn


The Paul Fouhy-directed Auburn Mountainview Summer Alumni Theater Company is at it again, this time with Alan Ayckbourn's 'Living Together' ? part of the British playwright's explosively hilarious trilogy, 'The Norman Conquests.'

July 29, 2013 ? 2:16 PM

The Paul Fouhy-directed Auburn Mountainview Alumni Theater Company is at it again, this time with Alan Ayckbourn's "Living Together" ? part of the British playwright's explosively hilarious trilogy, "The Norman Conquests."

The premiere is Aug. 8, one of six evening performances at the Auburn Mountainview Theater, 28900 124th Ave. SE, Auburn.

The curtain opens at 7:30 p.m. for shows Aug. 8-10 and Aug. 15-17.

Fouhy's cast performed Ayckbourn's "Round and Round the Garden" last season.

The summer theater company is comprised of actors, actresses and artists who graduated from Auburn-area high schools. The diverse cast, under Fouhy, assembles each summer to perform a benefit show. This marks SATC's sixth production.

Proceeds from ticket sales support the school's drama students scholarship fund.

Tickets are $10.


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Monday, July 29, 2013

The Scan: Science Events: Math Games, Bugs and Cloud Machines

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Coming events and reading matter at the intersection of science and culture.


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Tax holiday, sidewalk sale spur business in downtown Ocean Springs

OCEAN SPRINGS, Mississippi -- Although rain may have kept crowds from being as heavy as hoped, Saturday's sidewalk sale, coupled with the state's tax free holiday weekend, spurred sales for many downtown Ocean Springs businesses.

"Business has been great," said Colby Harrelson as she stood behind the counter at The Bay Collection on Washington Avenue. "I think it's a combination of the sidewalk sale and the tax holiday. People want to know where the sales are, school is about to start back and people need new clothes."

While rain can often be a boon for malls and other indoor shopping venues, Harrelson said it can be a hindrance for downtown shops.

"It's hit or miss with the rain," she said. "Some days it's good, but in downtown Ocean Springs involves a lot of walking. You have to be willing to walk outside."

Dana Rubenstein at Lee Tracy also said business had been steady all day.

"Despite the weather, it has turned out to be a very busy day," she said. "With the tax free weekend and the sidewalk sale, it's been busier than a typical Saturday. It's been a great turnout of people."

"It's been a great opportunity for us to clear out our summer stuff and get ready for the fall merchandise to pour in."

Jack Stevenson, owner of Salmagundi's, said the rain was definitely a hindrance for Saturday business, but said Friday's kickoff of the sidewalk sale had been a success.

"Yesterday was reasonable," he said, "today looks like a wash. Yesterday was an increase over last year."

For The Kajun Kubbard at the corner of Washington and Government Street, it was the store's first time participating in the sidewalk sale.

"It's been busy," said Katherine Kuhn. "It's definitely been busier than a typical Saturday, even with the bad weather."

Not every business was feeling the love, however. At The Office lounge, owner Chris Collins sat at the end of the bar, hoping things would pick up later in the afternoon.

"We're hoping it gets busier, but not yet," Collins said. "With this bad weather, it's not a great day for us. "We're hoping by 3 or 4..."

Most retail shops in the area offered heavy discounts on many items, as well as an array of unique products -- none more so than at the Queen's Bath shop, where a sign outside the store beckoned people in.

"What's a Monkey Fart?" the sign read. "Come in and see."

In the interest of investigative journalism, The Mississippi Press pursued further information on the item.

As it turns out, a "Monkey Fart" is a soap made of some 30 different fruits, including bananas and coconuts, or "everything a monkey would eat," explained Queen's Bath co-owner Deanna Jackson, who added the soap is one of their best-selling items.

"Business has been pretty good, even with the rain," Jackson added. "Better than I expected."

Shoppers walking the sidewalks didn't seem to mind the light rain which followed morning thunderstorms.

"We saw the sign for the sidewalk sale and thought we'd come down, look in the shops and get something to eat," said Ellen Badders of Ocean Springs, accompanied by Verna Margroff, also of Ocean Springs.

"And what's better than walking around downtown Ocean Springs?" Magroff said. "It's like a fantasyland down here, like stepping back in time."


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Home Mum | Building a house with or without a garage. Things to ...

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Buying a house is a big deal for many people, mostly financially, but emotionally too. But building your own house, that is something not many can afford and few venture to complete. In today?s economy, building a house means a lot of effort, money and time and a faltered house building plan may lead to countless disappointments in the future. And giving the fact that a lot of people own cars, the garage comes only as a natural part of anybody?s future dream house. But should it be built or are there some things to consider?

Let?s see the Pros list

  1. Building a garage is not extremely expensive considering the amount necessary for the entire construction but can increase significantly your home value on the real estate market if ever you think to sell
  2. A garage saves you money on a long term as the car is better protected and kept during extreme weather conditions
  3. A garage represents an excellent storage room for other house appliances or items
  4. If your architect designs the garage as a feasible living space of the house and not just an annex, it adds value to the house and improves your living conditions
  5. A garage can be built or removed ? if it?s just an annex to the house ? depending on your future needs

Let?s see the Cons list

  1. If you?re limited to a narrow space, a garage can sacrifice a small patch of garden and lawn. They will both make part of your regular maintenance plan, pest control program, care and supervision, but if you really can park the car safe outside, expert builders recommend not sacrificing the garden for the garage.
  2. A garage increases your house expenses, as it?s likely it will need to be heated during winter, have its own electrical system and its own security system.
  3. A garage will sacrifice the land for building another room and many family with children opted for the extra bedroom, while leaving the car in the driveway. Certainly, there are means of transforming the garage into a room if necessary, but there are a lot of costs involved, while the house?s price on the market might actually decrease because of this choice.
  4. A garage needs solid building materials, electricity and a lot of additional investments. They don?t cost very much, but if you?re on a budget, don?t sacrifice the quality of materials just because you want a cheap deal.
  5. Building a detached garage (as it became a common practice in the last years) may not be such a good idea on the long term, as it takes space, needs a separate security system and is very attractive to burglars.

No matter if you plan to build your house with an attached or detached garage, specialists recommend to take a look around the area you want to live in: are there other houses with attached garages? Is it a safe zone that allows you to park your car outside? Are people there using their garages for other purposes than keeping their cars safe? A wise decision can be made by taking into account both financial and personal factors, together with your and our family?s plan for the future.

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